Instagram is letting friends double up on live steams.
The app has introduced a new live streaming feature that allows two people to go live at the same time. The company began testing the feature in August, but this is the first time Instagram’s made it available to everyone.
Now, when you start a live stream, you have the option of adding someone who’s already watching the stream. If they accept the invitation, the stream will change to a split-screen view so both person’s live feeds appear at the same time.
The rest of the live stream works just like it normally would, though both broadcasters don’t need to stay live together — the person who was invited can leave and another person can be added, though the feature only supports two users at any one time.
Notably, the feature is a bit different than Facebook’s version of dual-live streaming, which only allows users to invite viewers who use the Mentions app.
For Instagram, the feature could dramatically boost engagement with live video. The company says opening up live streams to multiple people at once makes the feature more accessible to those who may be too shy to do a live video solo.
Whether that logic will bear out now that the feature is turned on for everyone is another matter, but the company obviously thinks it’s promising enough to expand from a small test.